Page updated 13 February 2017:
The powerpoint used in the lesson is available here:
Tsunami PPT


cnbc_japan_earthquake_tsunami_1bJapan March 11, 2011tsunami-banner_127479_1d863b133759c7be165404236438feb91

Tsunamis are part of the tectonic hazards section of Hazardous Environments Unit 3.1 (pages 272-274).  We will use the Japan tsunami as a case study and your particular focus on the text in the book needs to be on Tsunami Warning Systems  and Factors affecting the perception of risk. (p.273)  As we will see from the 2011 tsunami, the warning systems were all in place but the perception of risk was not up to the potential severity of a tsunami event.

See for example the following video and the sequence of events in the initial flow of water. This shows why the “perception of risk” is lower than it should be.


The speed of the tsunami can be seen very graphically in this sequence of footage from CCTV traffic cameras:

You need to explain the basic workings of the tectonic events underwater, including the “flip-up” plate action: in this case explained clearly on the following video: see the tsunami sequence from 26.30 minutes into the film.  This shows the monitoring of the tsunami and explains the flip-up plate action.


Perception of risk

The Live Science website has a very good article about the diminishing perception of risk after the tsunami in Japan.




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